Bose Response on Frequency - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 275 Old 03-17-2006, 10:27 PM
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I'm no audiophile. I have an inexpensive Polk setup.

In all of my casual listenings to Bose systems, I have been impressed by the *lack* of sound quality. No clarity, glaring holes in the frequency response, no low bass output, etc etc. They sound like crap because they *are* crap. Cheap materials, cheap construction. That's the end of the story as far as I'm concerned.
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post #92 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 01:28 AM
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Bose are not accurate speakers and they will never do well in a lab test. Many of the lab tests I have seen actually use dubious claims (poor math/science) to exaggerate holes in the frequency response of the Bose systems.

However their direct reflecting technology does sound wide, warm and spacious in most bedrooms/living rooms which are far from perfect acoustically. I have a set of 9 year old 301 Series IV, and they hooked up to an old HK AVR35, sounded quite nice. I have a setup now which costs 5x more (Rocket Onix 750 Signature with the UFW10). They sound better and clearer but certainly not 5x better.

Another thing to keep in mind is that how human beings perceive a sound is radically different from what an oscilloscope will show. Let me give you an example related to vision. If you see the moon rising over the horizon, especially a full moon, it looks much larger than the full moon after it has reached the middle of the sky. There is no optics involved. It is just that when the moon is close to horizon, nearby objects on the earth are a part of your view and that makes your mind to perceive the moon to be a different size than when the moon has risen further. Bose has invested a lot in doing such studies on how human beings perceive sound and have tuned their lines according to that. This is well beyond the technological or financial realm of most speaker companies.

All the talk about frequency curves is somewhat bogus since it is measuring a single impulse response . i.e. it is measuring the response when a particular frequency is being played. In real life, the speaker is playing tons of different frequencies. Unless the system is linear where the individual frequency components can be added, the response curve is far from what the speaker will sound with real data. And speakers are not linear. That is why we go for sub-woofers, to separate out the low frequency components so they do not tax the main speakers.

Another thing about comments on Bose construction. Bose speakers come with a 5 year warranty which is one of the longest in the industry. You can complain of paper speakers etc but there are a lot of different kind of paper and construction techniques you can use. From what I have seen, the Bose bookshelf speakers are not prone to breakdown and even 10-15 years old speakers have a decent resale value. And since raw material costs are such a small fraction of the sale price, Bose could easily spend 2x on the raw-material with very little hit to their bottom-line. There is very little business justification for not spending more, if the engineering demands it. It is clear from their research that a bigger investment in supposedly better materials is not needed.

The Bose Acoustimass based systems are a different breed than their bookshelves. There Bose's claim to fame is that they were first to the market with a unique product which created a market where none existed. I am sure the 5.1 market would not have taken off the way it did, if the Bose cubes were not there. WAF of a 5.1 system went to the stratosphere with the Bose cubes. Once you are in, you can gradually expand the size of the speakers.
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post #93 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plazman View Post

--------------------------------------------------------------

I've also listened to 10K AV set ups that didn't sound a lot better than my 4 K Bose (if better at all)


I guess that means that bose makes a 10,000 dollar AV system now.

rofl


All kidding aside, bose is not the best for the price, but they target a subtle/naïve (not in a bad way) market and make it seem like the easy and smart solution. Can you buy better sound? Oh god yes, but you know what, most people don't really care about the differences. You throw a subwoofer in a cheap system and it all of a sudden sounds great. People want simplicity and peace of mind and a name thy can hold on too without hurting their ego.. we are after all, Americans and marketing rules our world. plazman, you're really going out on a lime trying to compare bose with other systems. It doest really compare buddy and it only hurt your argument, but I'll give you this, Bose knows how to target their market much better then the rest of us and the fact is, you're bose's market, and you're the majority. I'm glad it works for you.
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post #94 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 04:59 AM
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Put them behind an acoustically transparent fabric , hidden from view, invite 100 posters from here out to listen to them , telling them it's a new speaker , and then have them draw the FR curve. How many , do you expect, will come close? I mean this should be a slam dunk , right? Hugely inaccurate with respect to FR and full of problems, these speakers dips and drop offs should be glaringly obvious, right? The percentage of those who could accurately reproduce the independantly tested graph would be, I suspect, astonishingly low. IMO.

I think it would be generally more useful if everyone new to these forums is reminded that they are constantly being marketed to and pitched by people who post their affiliations and many others who do not. This is all part of marketing and advertising and you, the consumer, are the targets.
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post #95 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 06:53 AM
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By jove tweeterex, I do think you're on to something. As many who bash Bose, take a look at how some people you know buy relatively expensive, and admittedly well performing speakers, and then stick them in corners against the walls. Then they've got hard tile floors, almost nothing on the walls. large expanses of windows. Or what about the omindirectional crowd. A bit different from Bose, but still basing a substantial amount of their preference on reflected sound. Or what about the other companies that put out single driver speakers...some in smallish cubes or orbs...some in large floor standing cabinets...what about them?

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post #96 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 07:44 AM
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Depends on what is being played, obviously. Make it a frequency sweep from 20 to 20,000 Hz and it will be *damn* obvious. You won't hear anything below 55-60Hz and there will be a giant dip in the low midrange. Play something I'm very familiar with, like some Tori Amos, and I'd be able to do it as well.
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post #97 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 08:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [LMS]007 View Post

I guess that means that bose makes a 10,000 dollar AV system now.

rofl


All kidding aside, bose is not the best for the price, but they target a subtle/naïve (not in a bad way) market and make it seem like the easy and smart solution. Can you buy better sound? Oh god yes, but you know what, most people don't really care about the differences. You throw a subwoofer in a cheap system and it all of a sudden sounds great. People want simplicity and peace of mind and a name thy can hold on too without hurting their ego.. we are after all, Americans and marketing rules our world. plazman, you're really going out on a lime trying to compare bose with other systems. It doest really compare buddy and it only hurt your argument, but I'll give you this, Bose knows how to target their market much better then the rest of us and the fact is, you're bose's market, and you're the majority. I'm glad it works for you.

--------------------------------

I guess the term would be 'acoustically challenged'. I believe the set up was a combination of some high end stuff put together by a professional AV shop. It sounded good, but I would not have paid 10K for it. I am also not saying that Bose is the cheapest or the best. All I am saying is that I am satisfied with my investment. I like the sound and the looks of the system for what I paid.

If I didn't like it would I have returned it or got another? sure! I've done it with many other products.

Good marketing is not something to be denegrated and equated with sleaziness.
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post #98 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 08:06 AM
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Make it a frequency sweep from 20 to 20,000 Hz and it will be *damn* obvious. You won't hear anything below 55-60Hz and there will be a giant dip in the low midrange. Play something I'm very familiar with, like some Tori Amos, and I'd be able to do it as well.

But could you hear that and draw a graph without knowing what your listening to?
Try it, unless you're scared of the results......you would , of course not be able to know what you were listening to, and now couldn't do bose because you know the graph. I'm not saying some can't , but rather that most can't draw the right graph after listening to an unknown speaker.

I think it would be generally more useful if everyone new to these forums is reminded that they are constantly being marketed to and pitched by people who post their affiliations and many others who do not. This is all part of marketing and advertising and you, the consumer, are the targets.
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post #99 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 08:07 AM
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A Bose 5.1 setup would rightly cost maybe $200-$300. Instead, with their aggressive marketing, they charge more like several thousand. Still sounds like a $200 speaker system, but now the consumer thinks they have some high-end audio gear.
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post #100 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweeterex View Post

But could you hear that and draw a graph without knowing what your listening to?
Try it, unless you're scared of the results......you would , of course not be able to know what you were listening to, and now couldn't do bose because you know the graph. I'm not saying some can't , but rather that most can't draw the right graph after listening to an unknown speaker.

It's not very hard to tell where you are in a frequency sweep if you've listened to a couple. And it's super easy to know that the lowest sounds you're hearing are not 25 or 30Hz but instead 60Hz.

I don't have golden ears. I'm a cheap SOB who has fairly cheap gear and hasn't listened to a ton of stuff... but 60+Hz is very distinguishable from 30Hz.

There's no way the guys at Best Buy would let me pop in an Avia test disc with a Bose system so we could do some frequency analysis, and I'm sure as hell not going to buy one of these systems.. but I *know* they can't do bass and can't reproduce the entire frequency range. That's obvious upon even a casual listen.
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post #101 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 08:16 AM
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I'm one of the few people who will admit to buying a set of Acoustimass 5 SII speakers back in 1992 or so. I was totally taken by the demo at Circuit City in Maryland while I was in college.

At the time, they were a terrific thing for my very small apartment. Gave me good staging with a small footprint, and didn't lose sound quality even when attached to the walls with mounts. I had a set of Mission bookshelf speakers that did not have the bass that the Bose provided. Granted, it was muddy bass, but I didn't have high expectations for the package.

I wasn't a sonic idiot mind you. I was very interested in classical and opera, and demanded a certain level of imaging and accuracy. My parents home at the time had a very (and I mean very) expensive and high quality setup, including a pair of Apogee ribbon speakers powered by 2 Jeff Rowland monoblocks and a 2 channel krell amp.

Even then I could detect a problem with cymbal crashes, and voices disappearing. Sopranos sounded terrific, but Tenors had "issues." Overall, I came home from college very happy with my purchase.

Until I stacked them head-to-head with my brothers ADS floorstanders. It wasn't a blind a/b, but comparing the two I was pretty amazed at what was missing from the bose.

Nonetheless, I don't think they're that terrible. They are incredibly over priced, but they do provide a pleasing sound for certain people in certain situations. Sound quality is in many ways subjective, and why get all bent if some ppl don't give a s**t if it's not accurate? Keep on educating them (I assume that's why they come here).

If you're a true "audiophile," you have bigger fish to fry. The quality of recorded music is going down, not up. People are actually believing that 128kbs AAC files are equal to cd quality music. Music is being mixed to sound good on iPods. I don't care about the quality when I jog or drive in my car, but it sure is heck noticeable on my HT rig.

BTW, I am now one of those Omnisat converts. I think they sound pretty good considering my problematic room (tile, 3 walls, practically no dampening materials), but I don't even put them in the same league as a full range speaker. They were a necessary concession - I wanted a pair of Def Techs that sounded awesome for the price.
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post #102 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 09:00 AM
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I don't think they're pretending to go down to 20 Hz. What's that giant dip in the midrange? Got a graph?

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #103 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 09:48 AM
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You are brave indeed, plazman, sticking your head into this hornets' nest of Bose hatred.

To someone who has no emotional response to Bose one way or the other, some of the bashing here seems borderline irrational.

Yes, I do own a pair of Bose speakers. They fit their application just fine. In other applications, my equipment list includes names like McIntosh, Luxman, Burwen, Audionics, Harman Kardon, Sony, SVS, DVDO, Pioneer, Panasonic, etc, etc. I simply choose the component that I think best fits my needs.

As for performance, I think BayAreaFan, tweeterex, and Chu Gai said most of what I would say.

I'd like to add a couple of points. First, contrary to widely held opinion, Bose speakers do well on some lab tests for accuracy. Many of them have consistently measured among the most accurate by Consumer's Reports.

Before everyone goes ballistic, I wouldn't suggest for a moment that one should necessarily agree (or disagree) with CR's conclusions, or even their criteria, but those who are familiar with their techniques acknowledge that their measurements are made objectively and dispassionately. I think CR's approach falters when they rate subjective products, but they do try to reduce everything to measurable parameters. (Please, let's not hijack this thread into a CR flame war, there are plenty of those here already.)

Secondly, it's axiomatic among marketing professionals that nothing kills a bad product faster than great marketing. It can create a short term faddish sensation, but not a success that lasts for decades, like Bose. For the long term, a product must offer something of value.

Speakers are about as personal a decision as anything this side of choosing a mate. What someone else likes is not necessarily what you like, but to insult them for their choice is totally unwarranted.
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post #104 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Macfan424 View Post

You are brave indeed, plazman, sticking your head into this hornets' nest of Bose hatred.

To someone who has no emotional response to Bose one way or the other, some of the bashing here seems borderline irrational.

Yes, I do own a pair of Bose speakers. They fit their application just fine. In other applications, my equipment list includes names like McIntosh, Luxman, Burwen, Audionics, Harman Kardon, Sony, SVS, DVDO, Pioneer, Panasonic, etc, etc. I simply choose the component that I think best fits my needs.

As for performance, I think BayAreaFan, tweeterex, and Chu Gai said most of what I would say.

I'd like to add a couple of points. First, contrary to widely held opinion, Bose speakers do well on some lab tests for accuracy. Many of them have consistently measured among the most accurate by Consumer's Reports.

Before everyone goes ballistic, I wouldn't suggest for a moment that one should necessarily agree (or disagree) with CR's conclusions, or even their criteria, but those who are familiar with their techniques acknowledge that their measurements are made objectively and dispassionately. I think CR's approach falters when they rate subjective products, but they do try to reduce everything to measurable parameters. (Please, let's not hijack this thread into a CR flame war, there are plenty of those here already.)

Secondly, it's axiomatic among marketing professionals that nothing kills a bad product faster than great marketing. It can create a short term faddish sensation, but not a success that lasts for decades, like Bose. For the long term, a product must offer something of value.

Speakers are about as personal a decision as anything this side of choosing a mate. What someone else likes is not necessarily what you like, but to insult them for their choice is totally unwarranted.

Just a few quick comments...if you own a set, it's hard to state you have no emotional response. The speakers might fit their application well, but that does not debunk the claim that many here (and on pretty much any other audio forum I've ever come across) believe that you could have gotten something else that fits just as well for a couple hundred less. Also, on Consumer Reports, they're not audio experts. They're also the same company that was sued by Suzuki for intentionally trying to roll the tracker in their tests back about 10 years ago. CR is the absolute last place I'd look for good information on audio. When I used to be in the business of selling this stuff, their reliability reports on certain brands and models often conflicted drastically with the failure and return rates we were witnessing in our store. I've yet to see anyone who specializes in audio that gives them good marks for accuracy.

I made good money selling Bose when I was in college. If someone came in asking about Bose, and if I were short on time or if I didn't feel like spending a half of an hour or more convincing them not to believe all of the marketing they've heard, they were usually easy quick sales that allowed me to make a quick commission and move on to the next customer. Yet, I despise their products. If there's anyone who should like them, it's me. And I'm telling you, from working in an audio store for 3 years, I got plenty of time to listen to hundreds of speakers in a myriad of configurations, and I've conducted more blind A/B tests than I care to count for (not much else to do on a Tuesday afternoon when my last class is at 10am, I get to work at 1100, and everyone else is working, so there's no business in the store), and I have no doubt in my mind that Bose is one of the absolute worst values for the dollar that I came across in the industry. When I got two Bose regional sales reps to agree with me (no easy feat), that was all of the validation anyone could ask for.

- Jehr
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post #105 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

I don't think they're pretending to go down to 20 Hz. What's that giant dip in the midrange? Got a graph?

Take a Barry White CD to a CC or BB, and see what they do. Don't need a graph for that!

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post #106 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfan424 View Post


I'd like to add a couple of points. First, contrary to widely held opinion, Bose speakers do well on some lab tests for accuracy. Many of them have consistently measured among the most accurate by Consumer's Reports.

I don't think this represents the true situation at all.

Consumer Reports has given Bose some negative reviews, to the point where Bose has filed a lawsuit against them. Since that time it seems to me that CR has tiptoed around Bose in their reviews.

http://www.oyez.org/oyez/resource/case/954/

This case actually went all the way to the Supreme Court.

Bose has also sued other reviewers. To me this is corporate intimidation at its worst, and is one reason that I would never recommend their products.

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post #107 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jehrico76 View Post

Just a few quick comments...if you own a set, it's hard to state you have no emotional response. The speakers might fit their application well, but that does not debunk the claim that many here (and on pretty much any other audio forum I've ever come across) believe that you could have gotten something else that fits just as well for a couple hundred less...

Actually, I may have emotional attachments to some of the gear I own, but not all of it.

My Bose computer speakers undoubtedly cost more than others, but since they cost less than $100, the difference isn't that huge, and they offer a convenience not matched by many, the ability to simultaneously receive signals from my FM tuner and my computer. And I was pleasantly surprised with how good they sound, especially when combined with my Dayton subwoofer (itself a less than perfect device). At least they lack the fatiguing, shrill quality of so many I've heard.

Do they match any of my other systems? Of course not, but they are more than adequate for what they are asked to do. (I only mentioned them in the first place as a matter of full disclosure, not as a ringing endorsement.)

I've never said that you couldn't find something that you like for less (often much less), only that people who don't agree with the prevailing "audiophile" opinion are entitled to their own, without being subjected to insults and ridicule.
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post #108 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ehlarson View Post

...Consumer Reports has given Bose some negative reviews, to the point where Bose has filed a lawsuit against them. Since that time it seems to me that CR has tiptoed around Bose in their reviews.

http://www.oyez.org/oyez/resource/case/954/

This case actually went all the way to the Supreme Court..

I don't intend to derail this thread with a CR debate, but did want to mention that cases don't get to the Supreme Court if both sides don't have a compelling position.

If CR feels intimidated, all they have to do is stop reviewing Bose speakers. They barely touch a fraction of the brands out there as it is. (A significant criticism of CR's ratings, in my view.) They certainly wouldn't have had to put two Bose speakers on their "Quick Picks" short list. They can't get sued for saying nothing.

Again, I'm not trying to convince anyone to buy Bose, or even to like them. All I'm saying is show some respect to those who do.
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post #109 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Macfan424 View Post

I don't intend to derail this thread with a CR debate, but did want to mention that cases don't get to the Supreme Court if both sides don't have a compelling position.

Did you examine the contents of the link? It appears pretty apparent to me that the Bose case was based on a farcical legal technicality that while may be interesting as a point of law has little or nothing to do with the actual merits of the review.

In any case I don't think CR is a good of information for consumer electronics, however you opened that door by citing CR reviews of Bose speakers. I was merely pointing out that there is substantial history there.

The basic point of my opinion is I think Bose automatically disqualifies itself from consideration as a company to do business with by suing reviewers.

Combined with the fact that they don't publish any technical specifications and actively make it hard for shoppers to direct comparisons between their products and other offerings, it is clear that they are actively working to prevent informed evaluation of their product.

I think consumers should avoid companies who act in this manner.

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post #110 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 02:32 PM
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a niche market and I really don't see why people get so emotional over this.

It's not geared toward audiophiles. It's targetted to those that want a small, simple product that sounds decent (better than TV speakers) and has name recognition.

It is definetely a company based on marketing. That's fine. They do what they do.

I do believe they are a collosal rip off and I would tell my friends and family this. If they were looking at speakers, I would definetely recommend bookshelves or floor standing speakers. If they wanted something smaller, I'd recommend something else based on their budget.

It's quite obvious Bose speakers aren't very accurate, have a sizable frequency gap, and don't play very low. I'm also irritated by some of their owners that claim they have the greatest speakers in the world (and I've come across such people while working in sales myself).

People don't have to justify their purchases. Everyone can buy what they want. That's how the free market works. However, if a person I know (and if I'm actually concerned about how they spend their money) is willing to shell out a few thousand on some "jewel cubes", I'd let them know that for the price they can get something a lot better - and if they want something of similar (or better) quality, they can find something a lot cheaper.
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post #111 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plazman View Post

--------------------------------

I guess the term would be 'acoustically challenged'. I believe the set up was a combination of some high end stuff put together by a professional AV shop. It sounded good, but I would not have paid 10K for it. I am also not saying that Bose is the cheapest or the best. All I am saying is that I am satisfied with my investment. I like the sound and the looks of the system for what I paid.

If I didn't like it would I have returned it or got another? sure! I've done it with many other products.

Good marketing is not something to be denegrated and equated with sleaziness.


Bro, there is a lot of stuff I would never pay 10k. I mean we make the Krell master reference subwoofer drivers... I would never pay 20,000 dollars for one! Its nice, but its just not worth that to *me*, but I bet someone would want it. Bragging rights on that thing are through the roof.

The best speakers I own are the ones I got for free
no joke!


I guess you're right, it just comes down to what you are satisfied with and if you are satisfied then **** everyone else.
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post #112 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 10:46 PM
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A number of folks talk about the holes in the frequency response in Bose speakers. One question I have is the relevance of these response curves.

The speakers reproduce music which consists of a ton of different frequencies at the same time. A frequency sweep consists of a single tone. As a speaker design engineer the frequency sweep is a tool I would use to design the stuff. However, how the speaker will reproduce a set of different frequencies is just not captured in these sweeps.

The speakers are not a linear system and the religious belief in the curves is misplaced. A better test would be a system where you plug in multiple frequecies, which are not harmonic multiples of each other and observe the behavior. But I rarely do see one; simply because there an infinite number of combinations you could have.

Another aspect to keep in mind is how the mind perceives music or sound. Bose invests in research on sound perception. For example, human mind can fill in missing frequencies in a sound source which has gaps in reproduction but consists of a sound source which produces multiple harmonics. See Missing Fundamental Effect . From what I have read of Bose research, they have used this information in designing their systems.

We dont listen to single frequency tones (Thank God!). Our ears and mind are not an oscilloscope. It is pointless to rely completely on the frequency sweeps. In our statistics obsessed society, technical specs have their relevance raised to a level they do not deserve. And the speaker industry is not alone. It is funny to see the contrast ratios and response time games being played by the flat screen display makers too.

I still feel that at $300 a pair, Bose 301 series is one of the better set of $300 speakers around when put in your acoustically challenged study, bedroom or living room; and I have heard a lot of speakers in different settings.

Bose's cube based system might be a different story. There their claim to fame was pioneering the industry. There are a lot of other players who can build good speakers systems based on that concept; but most can not compete with the Bose brand name. Good thing is that the consumers can get good quality stuff at much lowere costs than Bose when it comes to the cube based speakers.
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post #113 of 275 Old 03-18-2006, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jehrico76 View Post

I have no doubt in my mind that Bose is one of the absolute worst values for the dollar that I came across in the industry. When I got two Bose regional sales reps to agree with me (no easy feat), that was all of the validation anyone could ask for.

Jehrico:

Is your comparison based on Bose Bookshelves/Floor Standing Models or the cubes?

Was the comparison done in a audio-store's studio with good acoustic properties or in someone's dorm rome, bedroom, living room or study?
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post #114 of 275 Old 03-19-2006, 03:21 AM
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well I mean jesus christ... if bose is gonna try and pull the "your brain will fill in the **** we're missing" excuse then we might as well just sell air and call them virtual speakers.

We use oscilloscopes because if a speaker can't do a frequency linearly, then it can't do any combination of frequencies or harmonics that contain that particular one, linearly either. If you want to test a speaker with every musical instrument in the world before making some judgment about it, be my guest, but the oscilloscope is a proven industry standard tool that works well and can characterize a speaker's response across the human hearing range and outside.

The 301's are not very good speakers imo. The parts are extremely cheap, made in china and I could probably replicate the entire speaker including that cheap finish they put on it for less than 20 dollars.


So horse is so dead and so beaten at this point.. why do we continue these debats?
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post #115 of 275 Old 03-19-2006, 04:10 AM
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We use oscilloscopes because if a speaker can't do a frequency linearly, then it can't do any combination of frequencies or harmonics that contain that particular one, linearly either. If you want to test a speaker with every musical instrument in the world before making some judgment about it, be my guest, but the oscilloscope is a proven industry standard tool that works well and can characterize a speaker's response across the human hearing range and outside

I have often wondered about the non-linear performance of amps and speaker combos at differant volumes with respect to FR.

Also, the "loudness" curves have been brought up before, and their neccesity at lower levels.

I think it would be generally more useful if everyone new to these forums is reminded that they are constantly being marketed to and pitched by people who post their affiliations and many others who do not. This is all part of marketing and advertising and you, the consumer, are the targets.
Noth...
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post #116 of 275 Old 03-19-2006, 11:38 AM
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Did you examine the contents of the link? It appears pretty apparent to me that the Bose case was based on a farcical legal technicality that while may be interesting as a point of law has little or nothing to do with the actual merits of the review..

Actually, I only scanned it, I'll admit. I already have a strong bias against lawsuits of this type, strictly on First Amendment grounds, and I was quite sure you were not pointing me in the direction of something that might support the other (Bose) side of the debate.

As soon as I saw the date, a bell went off, recalling the brouhaha that ensued when CR ripped the 901's at a time when most of the buff books were still praising them.

I don't pretend to be qualified to determine the legal merits of the case (although I have strong opinions of its ethical merits), but I know it had to pass through a phalanx of judges to get to the high court, and only a tiny fraction of cases are actually heard by them, so I am not swayed from my contention that Bose's position must have had some legal merit, whether I agreed with it or not. Most civil cases involve some kind of "technicality," and my "technicality" could be your crucial distinction.

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In any case I don't think CR is a good of information for consumer electronics, however you opened that door by citing CR reviews of Bose speakers. I was merely pointing out that there is substantial history there.

You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but I look at them as a valuable source of information to add to the mix. They take a different approach from virtually everyone else, trying to reduce a heavily subjective issue to objective numbers. I don't accept their rankings as gospel any more than I do the opinions voiced here, or those of professional A/V reviewers, but all are useful to me. (CR measures and reports rather than reviews in the conventional sense.)

Again, history or not, CR didn't have to continue to report on Bose products. Further, not only did they win the lawsuit, but they rarely do subjective reviews any more like the one that triggered the suit. Instead, they now measure specific parameters and issue rankings based to those measurements. It would probably be hard to find an excuse to sue based on those kinds of findings, which are essentially devoid of opinion or interpretation.
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The basic point of my opinion is I think Bose automatically disqualifies itself from consideration as a company to do business with by suing reviewers.

That's my emotional response to any company that does that, too, but like "buying American" I'm afraid I violate it from time to time. I can tell you from personal experience that all it takes is one angry CEO to launch the lawyers, even if everyone else thinks he shouldn't. It doesn't mean a whole company is wrong headed, only the boss.
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Combined with the fact that they don't publish any technical specifications and actively make it hard for shoppers to direct comparisons between their products and other offerings, it is clear that they are actively working to prevent informed evaluation of their product.

I remember when McIntosh was being bashed for never submitting their products for review. ("Must have something to hide," blah, blah, blah.) It didn't make their products bad, in my view. Speaker specifications are often meaningless, as they are not subject to strict regulation and even if they do measure the same under the same lab conditions, they won't sound the same in our various rooms.

I believe those who say Bose may restrict comparisons in some situations as I have no evidence to the contrary, but for their low priced models, at least, Circuit City must not have gotten the memo. They display Bose right next to Infinity, Polk, et al, and customers are free to compare (albeit under dreadful listening conditions, but the same ones for everyone).
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I think consumers should avoid companies who act in this manner.

I abhor predatory business practices, as well. I presume this means you avoid Microsoft, too.
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post #117 of 275 Old 03-19-2006, 12:54 PM
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Jehrico:

Is your comparison based on Bose Bookshelves/Floor Standing Models or the cubes?

Was the comparison done in a audio-store's studio with good acoustic properties or in someone's dorm rome, bedroom, living room or study?

I had done comparisons on all of their bookshelves and the cube models. The comparisons were done in dedicated speaker rooms (roughly 15x15 square, so about as big as moderate bedrooms) that had *decent* (not great) acoustic properties. About the time I got out of the business was when Bose started restricting retailers as to how thier speakers could be displayed. We did not stock their floorstanders in our store, as most people who were interested in Bose were people who were interested in small solutions. We also had JBL and Polks. The JBL SCS systems were cheaper than the AM10 and were better quality. The Polks were a little more expensive and cleaned up on them. I couldn't find another employee in the store who disagreed, and customers overwhelmingly felt the same after being administered a blind A/B test.

- Jehr
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post #118 of 275 Old 03-19-2006, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by [LMS]007 View Post

well I mean jesus christ... if bose is gonna try and pull the "your brain will fill in the **** we're missing" excuse then we might as well just sell air and call them virtual speakers.

We use oscilloscopes because if a speaker can't do a frequency linearly, then it can't do any combination of frequencies or harmonics that contain that particular one, linearly either. If you want to test a speaker with every musical instrument in the world before making some judgment about it, be my guest, but the oscilloscope is a proven industry standard tool that works well and can characterize a speaker's response across the human hearing range and outside.

The 301's are not very good speakers imo. The parts are extremely cheap, made in china and I could probably replicate the entire speaker including that cheap finish they put on it for less than 20 dollars.


So horse is so dead and so beaten at this point.. why do we continue these debats?


Just to further your point (not that it needs it), but if the brain could fill in the missing information, then there'd be no need for MP3s or any other compressed format greater than 128kbs. I think it's safe to say that 128kbs MP3s most certainly do NOT sound as good as CDs do.

- Jehr
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post #119 of 275 Old 03-19-2006, 01:05 PM
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I abhor predatory business practices, as well. I presume this means you avoid Microsoft, too.

I don't think it's fair to compare a Bose customer to a Microsoft customer as far as supporting their business practices go. There are plenty of alternatives to Bose out there that don't have 2nd and 3rd order effects to choosing them over Bose. Whether you like MS or not, you basically have two realistic alternatives: Apple or Linux. Linux doens't have near the driver or hardware support. You have to be a bit more savvy to successfully employ Linux without sacrificing any functionality, and there are far fewer software platforms available to you on Linux than MS. Apple also doesn't have as large of a offering on software available through it, and you're more restricted when it comes to hardware, especially for your DIYers. Doesn't mean either are inferior, but for your common user, there are 2nd and 3rd order affects that will deter them from the alternatives. You can easily chose something other than Bose with no further ramifications.

- Jehr
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post #120 of 275 Old 03-19-2006, 01:11 PM
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I've never said that you couldn't find something that you like for less (often much less), only that people who don't agree with the prevailing "audiophile" opinion are entitled to their own, without being subjected to insults and ridicule.

If I've ever come across as to be personally insulting or ridiculing with my hatred of Bose, then I have to apologize to anyone who felt so. I do try to direct my insults and ridicule towards Bose as a company, and not towards any of their customers. That is sometimes easier said than done.

- Jehr
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